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with the fact that u.s. special operations forces in 2011 found osama bin laden and killed him. that was a huge blow to the organization. but i would point out, in the years leading up to that, there were a lot of analysts who believed that modern was out of touch and was a figurehead and did not play a day-to-day role. in an organization that had evolved more into affiliates. one of the stories are remember writing after that raid was that bin laden played a very important role in managing this organization that had all of these various affiliate and aspiring affiliates. and i think we are in the same situation now where there's no doubt about it that al qaeda has lost a lot of senior leaders in pakistan because of a very lethal thrown more. andver, they have adapted he has shown the ability to manage and delegate. in that respect, at least we shutdown all of these embassies and with sun alerts being significant, i think that shows that, while there have been victories, at least the threat about qaeda is far from over at this point. am eager to you,, tom. hawaii to elaborate a bit on the conce
is on the run and osama bin laden is dead. >> reporter: the white house aide said the cia director and other officials noted al qaeda affiliates were gaining steam. >> did he give the full picture to the people in the campaign about the threat of al qaeda, when that was his talking about again and again? >> it is indisputable the elimination of osama bin laden was a major accomplishment in the effort against al qaeda. we have been clear and the president has been clear that the threat from al qaeda very much remains. >> reporter: republicans know al qaeda in the arabian peninsula is its deadliest affiliate of all. >> al qaeda is in many ways stronger than 9/11, because it mutated and spread and come at us different directions. >> reporter: tense times in the mid east, where the u.s. is having talks in egypt with a jailed senior leader of muslim brotherhood, amid fears the government is losing control of key cities. >> that will allow the sinai to become as you said wild west of terrorism where groups like al qaeda and hamas can coordinate and plot attacks. >> reporter: as the egyptian govern
by osama bin laden when he was leading al qaeda. they weren't always followed and they didn't always trigger this kind of response. >> exactly. richard aeengel, thanks to you. there's been a higher threat level, a lot of extra security there but they're telling you this is unrelated to what is going on in the middle east and in north africa. >> it is, andrea. what we're hearing from former and current military and intelligence officials in pakistan is that although it is a separate incident that they're dealing with in pakistan, it is certainly when you take a step back and look at it parallel in many ways. over the weekend in islamabad the capital city of pakistan was shut down. we are told this was prompted by an intelligence intercept of communications, possibly between two taliban leaders, talking about a potential target attack in islamabad. maybe on a pakistani target though. not necessarily on american or international target. we're told that could have been navy force -- sorry. air force target or a navy installation or even an intelligence office in or around the capital. wh
and communication security of osama bin laden is, he would not be online in direct communication. he shows up at various points. there is a suggestion that he was indeed in the conversation. people have asked us, why would you report all these details? our sources have made it clear that when the leader who reported the communications -- it was enough information for al qaeda to walk back the cat. we left out some details from our initial report. believe,oint, we especially since our sources were giving us this information, that it was important to explain the current context of threats. point, i think it is a tough one. cannot argue with the fact that u.s. special operations forces in 2011 found osama bin laden and killed him. that was a huge blow to the organization. that, years leading up to a lot of analysts believe that bin laden was out of touch. they figured he did not play a day-to-day role. the organization has devolved into affiliates. one of the stories i remember writing after the raid -- bin laden played an important role in terms of managing this organization with these various
senior al qaeda leaders and no warning since the killing of osama bin laden in may of 2011. something serious they've heard. i also think this is the reaction of the benghazi scandal. the administration does want to look like it's lax on security and not being aggressive enough. i think they're also being very, very broad in terms of shutting down so many embassies to be careful politically. >> if something else were to happen, of course, a lot of people critical of not having done enough. mark, i want to turn to you on this. we heard a lot over the last decade about how much al qaeda has been weakened by the war on terror, but does this contradict that? do these closures suggest they are stronger than we've been led to believe? >> i don't want to say it's contradicted and david has put his finger on it. the fact of the matter is we've always known despite the killing of osama bin laden that there's been a series of franchise organizations directly related to al qaeda. they've been in the caucuses in the north africa and the al qaeda which committed attacks in amgeria, as well as in l
who was formerly osama bin laden's secretary. we know that there was chatter. but we don't know the most important things. exactly where, exactly when. so we've seen a blanket response in much of the muslim world and the question is how long can you keep this up. these kind of attacks, these militants, aren't going to be deterred for very long. this might throw off their game. it might, according to analysts we've been speaking to, cause them to change their timing but al qaeda in the iranian peninsula has been there for several years and has been very aggressive for the last several years. >> pete williams, we know that they were increasing security on flights coming from overseas to the united states. they don't see a domestic component to this. but a lot of people are wondering, we know that osama bin laden stopped his people from using cell phones. so what kind of communications -- what kifbd ch kind of chatt eter is intercept presumably from the nsa? >> we don't know if this is on the phone, is it e-mails or some other kind of communication we aren't thinking about. i'm tol
time they did this, when romney called him an apiecer, obama came out and said tell that to osama bin laden and the 15 leaders of al qaeda i've taken off the field. the notion that this guy is somehow appeasing our enemies is so preposterous. >> do you think they have polled on this, the neocons, they figure after the embarrassment of iraq, they wanted to fight the war. george w. wanted to fight it, and the vice president wanted to fight it. they all wanted to fight it. okay. they decided that we have sort of forgotten that, and now they're coming back. bolton is back, kristol is back. when they say retaliation, their idea of retaliation after 9/11, steve, was going into iraq. retaluation. what does that mean? >> i have never gotten the impression that their world views were radically altered by what happened in the last decade, after the invasion of iraq. i don't think the world view was changed. i think they sense an opportunity within the republican party, the argument in the republican party over foreign policy. whenever they see an opportunity to connect their agenda to oppositio
osama bin laden to the others, before they joined and formed al qaeda. guess which group they belong to a? the muslim brotherhood. ladies and gentlemen, i'm here to tell you that the muslim brotherhood is the gateway drug to islamic terrorism. if you want to understand this mayhem and why we are up against against the wall with the war on terror come along strangle him the existential struggle to judeo-christian, i'm sitting in the capital they do not like like to hear that into this at a premium. but that is what is going on. if you want to understand what we're up against, you have to understand this group. it started with them. it looked to be very politically incorrect and i have plenty of theological emma to back up their ideology matters of fact. so the founder is crestfallen and deflated that the group has collapsed. the caliphate. picture every muslim nation economically, politically, militarily, speaking with one strong voice against israel and america. controlling a good supply of the world's oil and perhaps if things keep regressing or regress in the way that they have bee
of lebanon. meanwhile, osama bin laden was watching these events unfold and essentially learned the lesson that america was cowardly, that they couldn't take a punch in the nose and that emboldened him to later on launch the attacks that we know he launched. i keep coming back to that because to me it seems like we have to figure out what type of strikes, what targets to strike. but isn't the bottom line here that the president said we have this red line of chemical weapons and if you cross that there will be enormous consequences. if we fail to deliver those enormous consequences, we lose all of our credibility in the reason gone, we lose all of our ability to act as a deterrent. iran is watching this and learning perhaps the same lessons that osama bin laden learned in 1983. >> krystal, the fact is international law was violated. the president's statement of crossing the red line occurred six to eight months ago. syria's used chemical weapons some months ago. in fact, some reports indicate that he's used this some number of times, even 100 times on a much limited scale. the red line bein
. that's where osama bin laden was born and raised. this is something, it's an organization with a lot of offshoots. it's a dispersed organization. it's intended to function that way so that eliminating one or two or even many of its top leaders don't prevent the rest of the organization from operating. and that's been true from its inception. >> that is not very encouraging. let me ask you this. as long as we're doing this reality test, and we all should be aware this is why we're talking about this as our lead story, what do you think is happening here at home? is al qaeda on our shores? >> well, i think this is one of the risks that we have to take seriously. particularly now in the wake of the boston marathon bombing on april 15th. the government has not said that there's a risk here. but you have to believe that if al qaeda thought it could strike again in america, it would certainly like to try and do so. this is something that i think we should be paying close attention to. i think it should heighten our appreciation of our intelligence gathering assets like the electronic surve
leader, is considered perhaps even more dangerous at one stage he was osama bin laden's secretary. and some intelligence analysts say he may be wanting to prove himself to try and exert himself on the international stage by carrying out some sort of terror attack in yemen or abroad. but not all u.s. diplomats are happy with this situation. they say there needs to be xurpt, but they also say they can't do their jobs if they're locked behind big walls like this one. lester? >> richard engel reporting from cairo. let's bring in our chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell. andrea, we know from previous experience the u.s. can't maintain this red alert posture indefinitely so what's the plan going forward here? >> it really is day by day. the intelligence of an impending attack as you're reporting is serious but they still don't know the specific target. there are several other threats, possibility for the retaliation for the drone strike richard just mentioned and a threatening speech last week by ayman al zawahiri. the upcoming anniversary this week of bombings of tanzani
happen as early as yesterday. nasir al-wuhayshi, once the personal secretary to osama bin laden, runs the yemen based branch of al qaeda that has proven to be the most aggressive in plotting against the u.s. bound airplanes with bombs hidden inside underwear and computer printers. al qaeda in the arabian peninsula has been battered by drone strikes. deputy commander saed al-shihri was killed earlier this year. but counterterrorism officials warn al qaeda in the arabian peninsula remains dangerous and capable of inflicting serious damage. while u.s. officials were stunned that veteran al qaeda leaders broke operational security by openly discussing possible plots, the intelligence remains incomplete. analysts who worked throughout we weekend still can't say where, when, or how an attack may be carried out. so the u.s. has been forced into a blanket defense. across north africa and the middle east 19 u.s. diplomatic missions will remain closed through saturday. and while there is no indication that terrorists are targeting the u.s. mainland, security is being tightened around new york c
had been worth despite osama bin lauden. where do we draw the line? >> i think not just the ambiguous outcomes in the wars in afghanistan but also the libyan situation in which they thought we were doing good in the world, and we helped overthrow gaddafi, and then we had ambassador chris stevens, who was really a hero in the benghazi area killed in that very city when he was ambassador and then they have seen egypt and yemen erupt and i think they writely believed that america's apparent america'sability to flinfluencee evenltsdz would be limited and it's costly to try. >> almost a year anniversary of the benghazitac. it was airstrikes on libya. that was what many are proposing now for syria, and now, it seems like the situation in libya is much worse than it was under gaddafi in certain ways. >> i think any time you get involved in a war, you cannot entirely predict the outcome. so i think there is certainly a war weariness in the u.s. but a war wariness as well. people really are worried about these sorts of things. but i do believe that the use of chemical weapons, the use of these
don't know. as much as we think we know, the fact that osama bin laden is dead, terrific, that broke up core al qaeda. but no one capable of 9-11, that's a dangerous road to go down and say that publicly. they are still very fearful someone is going to get a body bomb on an airplane or another printer cartridge that will actually work to bring down an airplane. and frankly, who knows what other plots are out there? i don't mean to sound doom and gloom but i don't think we know what we don't know. even though our intelligence is pretty terrific. gwen: and international surveillance. we're not going to give that up -- >> and we had al-zarqawi who is bin laden's number two guy and number one guy in core al qaeda if you want to call it that, communicating with the head of al qaeda on the arabian peninsula. that tells you something, too. gwen: was there any sense at the white house, alexis, that part of what drove this was in the way that edward snowden drove the announcements about surveillance today that the -- the fallout from benghazi may have driven some of his decision to shut down
, the first time a global alert was issued since osama bin laden was killed in may 2011. joining me nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel. nice to have you this morning, richard. >> reporter: thank you. good to join you from a very hot day in cairo but i'm glad to be on your show. >> thanks. tell me a little, obviously we first started hearing about embassies closing beginning thursday night, then got hot sort of all day on friday. what is the administration saying about the scope of these embassy closings. >> the scope of the embassy closings, nbc consulate is very large. about 22 different facilities closed just today, although we're not exactly sure when some of these facilities will reopen. we spoke to a spokesperson today here in cairo and asked, okay, there is a closure. when is the embassy going to reopen. the spokesperson said, well, we're still evaluating. this is a blanket move. it is obviously very serious. what we know from talking to different sources is that the threat goes back to yemen. it's a very specific threat from al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, which is
think that's been the situation since well before osama bin laden and his key deputies were killed. al qaeda and affiliated similar networks continue to grow around the globe. jenna: speaking of the president, we have a sound bite from a little more recent than last year talking about the war on terror and one of the president's big speeches about foreign policy. let's take a listen to that. i'll get your reaction. >> today osama bin laden is dead and so are most of his top lieutenants. our homeland is more secure. a few of our troops are in harm's way and over the next 19 months, they'll continue to come home. our alliances is strong and so is our standing in the world. we are safer because of our efforts. jenna: that's what our viewers have heard from the president. this is the paradigm that the president was describing to us. no large scale attacks, yet we're seeing the shutting of our embassies overseas, we're told not to travel for at least another several weeks and this is all moving up until the next anniversary of 9/11. so what should we think about our safety? >> look. i have
books on al qaeda. he produced the first tv interview of osama bin laden back in 1997. gregory johnsen is the author of the last refuge, yemen, al qaeda and america's war in arabia. welcome. peter, what triggered all of this as far as we understand it is the head of al qaeda sent a message to al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, in yemen, asking them, you know, do some terrorism, please. >> yeah, do something. >> now, is that a sign of weakness or strength? >> it's a sign of just sending a message. i mean it's do something is pretty -- it's not like, you know, the end of the world is coming. and so far whatever that something is hasn't transpired. and i think that al qaeda central is aware of its own problems and even al qaeda in the arabian peninsula is not doing particularly well, despite all of the flurry of things we've seen over the past week. about 30 of their leaders and south operatives have been killed in cia drone strikes, so their bench is thinning. >> why has yemen become the next place, after afghanistan, pakistan? >> right. well, i think in yemen you have a very weak centra
lives and others, but it's a terrible thing. just a year ago, boasting, al-qaeda's on the run and osama bin laden is dead and now, an unprecedented closure of 22. >> i'm not questioning what he's doing. i think what bill is saying is true. is our attempt to placate part of the world, reset to whether it's russia or somewhere else are clearly not working and the perception of weakness in this administration is encouraging this kind of behavior. >> they really are not working and the problem, i don't know, i look at this and you talk to the countersbel where she knows people and they say there was no reason to close 30 something embassies in madagascar of all places, where there isn't any jihadists. >> stayed open and had another benghazi, who would be criticizing the administration? >> but you don't run. his policy is run and hide. >> and john, let me go to you on this because when you talk about our foreign policy and where we go from here, there's a lot of pressure to focus on our switch to asia, but instead when we focus on the middle east, it's the one area where it's kind of quiet.
osama bin laden was in pakistan, but that was the extent of our knowledge. the way we kept the country safe was get that intelligence and according to the agency itself, the way we did that was by subjecting him -- because he was subjected more than anybody else to enhanced interrogation techniques. this administration does not get it. they do not. obama made a speech here not too long ago to the national defense university in may and basically said ok, now we are returning back to the pre-9/11 days. we are not at war anymore. we are going back to pre-9/11. we will go try to round up the guys when they blow up. we are no longer on a war footing, if you will, in terms of thinking about the state we're in. i think that is dead wrong. it is an absolute total misreading of where we find ourselves today. as i look at that part of the world, north africa, a good part of the middle east, not just afghanistan, where they launched 9/11 from, but also yemen and the major struggle underway in egypt, the muslim brotherhood taken power there, the group having spawned all those other radical groups,
administration after the bombing of our embassies, osama bin laden concluded america was unserious with the course. three years later, we had 9/11. >> you have to ask the question, is limited punitive strike worse than doing nothing. i am not sure that's true. >> then there's the libya example, they sent in 110 tomahawk missiles, british and u.s. war ships, then there was a nato enforced fly zone for six months, which ended with a civil war with gadhafi being deposed. the problem with syria is more complicated because the rebel situation is more complicated. and you've got the potentially unsecure wmd of chemicals. >> we're going to continue this. final word on this topic? >> i think it is a question of are you serious or not. assad will understand it is a punitive strike, he emerges from the smoke essentially unhurt strategically, he wins this round. and it will have been for nothing and risking all of the things that nina talked about needlessly. >>> next up, continuing this topic, how to fight another war, and the push back coming not very loud but still coming. max and penny ke
aggressive when you look on the policy of drones, going in and getting osama bin laden, something the bush administration failed to do. and he's alsoing more cautious. if you look at the way we dealt with libya and egypt, sort of backing off and sort of supporting what we saw as the goals of the arab street without putting boots on the ground, so this president who was famously cautious about iraq is now in an awkward position. the things we were told about saddam hussein are actually true in libya, and we have this caution. >> we are talking about the republicans in their her to the president, a lot of people were questioning where they were yesterday at the march on washington, the celebration. we have dr. martin luther king's speech yesterday, but i want to show -- i'm sorry. we don't have that sound, but what i do have is the information that john boehner and eric cantor were invited to be there, and they decided not to be there. mlk was a registered republican, wasn't he? >> according to one family member. >> his father was. >> his father was. >> why would republicans take a distant a
about the intelligence community tracking of osama bin laden. the raid it says was guided by a group of satellites in space which pointed dozens of separate receivers of pakistan to collect a vast amount of data as the mission took place. it noticed the united states watches allies and enemies. counter intelligence operations are strategically focused against targets of china, russia, iran, cuba and israel. >> i don't think that would surprise anybody who we are collecting against and also what we think our major concerns are in the world. it makes sense to have that in the budget. it would be better for it nout to be out in the public domain. >> reporter: north korea says what are described as five critical gaps in u.s. intelligence about nuclear and missile programs and analysts knowing almost nothing about the intentions of new leader, kim jong-un. interesting that it was revealed in a story leaked by former contract employee, snowden, one of their own. >> much more on this with the panel. >>> a disturbing look at the fort hood shooter before his attack. >>> here is what our fox a
the state department has issued a worldwide travel alert for americans, it's the first since osama bin laden was killed. it warns terrorists may elect to use a variety of means and weapons and target both official and private interests. that warning in effect through august. security is also being increased across the u.s. out of what authorities are calling an abundance of caution although they say there is no specific threat to the homeland and joint chiefs of staff general martin dempsey says the threat is specific and serious. >> a significant threat stream and we're reacting to it. >> is the threat to employee up an embassy, a consulate or something else? >> that part of it is unspecified, but the intent seems clear. the intent is to attack western, not just u.s. interests. >> now, the focus is on the al qaeda branch in yemen where experts say the terror group is on the rise. we have complete coverage for you. nbc's kristen well kearse at the white house and nbc news foreign news correspondent richard engel is in cairo. what's the latest there. >> reporter: i'm still struck by that map
the last 15 years. >> reporter: wuhayshi has a long history. he was osama bin laden's personal secretary in afghanistan. after 9/11, he fled with bin laden to the mountains of tora bora, surviving days of bombings. he wound up in iran and then deported and jailed in yemen. in 2006, he escaped from prison in a notorious jailbreak, emerging in 2008 to plot a deadly attack on the u.s. embassy in yemen. in 2009, he rose to the top of aqap. that year, the same organization tried to blow up a u.s. airliner on christmas day, in the so-called underwear bomber plot. this latest threat has revealed a stunning leak forward in al qaeda's communications. the u.s. intelligence community, cnn has learned, was able to intercept an encrypted messaging system that allowed several operatives to communicate at one time. in still another turn in wuhayshi's rare but growing communications, the associated press reports in mali, it discovered a letter from w wuhayshi to fellow terrorists to provide food, water, and garbage collection to the people in the area he controlled, perhaps his vision of an islamic stat
in "the washington post" offering more detail about the raid that killed osama bin laden, it says forensic intelligence agents working in afghanistan confirmed his identity eight hours after he was killed using dna from his corpse. "the post" information is based on data from leaker edward snowden. >>> friday marks san diego mayor bob filner's final day in office at 5:00, city council president todd gloria will take over as interim mayor and a special election is set for november 19th. gloria allred is celebrating his last day, she represents several women harassed by filner. >>> new york is a great place but it took a couple of kittens to shut down the subway, service came to a halt thursday for 90 minutes as they looked for the fugitive fee lines, the rail could be deadly to an unsuspecting cat. at first there was no luck finding the kittens but they were found hours later and taken to a local animal shelter. it would really anger commuters, but come on, look at that face. >> got to save the kittens. good stuff. >> and they did. that's some good news. we'll take a break here on "new day.
been issued since the u.s. braced for retaliation after american special operations killed osama bin laden two years ago. this time, multiple sources tell nbc news the threat originates from yemen from a plot by al qaeda's branch in the arabian peninsula. the suspected target or targets are not just american diplomats in embassies, but western interests in general. we're told the threat is credible, serious and time for now the tail end of ramadan. the location is believed to be in yemen, but some u.s. officials worried plotters could try to strike beyond that country and initiated a blanket, catch-all response. >> this is a serious threat, but it should be noted in light of what happened in benghazi that officials are taking no chances whatsoever. >> reporter: so why al qaeda in yemen? it has a core group of skilled bomb makers and propagandists who operate in areas where the government has little authority. the group is motivated and aggressive and under attack. last month one of the top leaders was killed in a drone attack. the group wants revenge. but when? u.s. officials have to
. so when you kill a leader, harris, like osama bin laden, the movement goes on. >> you echo each other a little bit. but you say you go a step further, the enemy is building, will not be deterred. what's happening. >> true, harris. actually, the general is right, it is about an ideology, no doubt. and one more point, the administration unfortunately and its advisers have refused to engage this ideology, to confront this ideology. from memos the past few years, says there is no ideology. if you actually don't recognize it exists, it will continue to exist and recruit more people. as important also are the forces that we should have allied ourselves with against the jihadists. look what's happening in egypt and tunesia and libya. who is demonstrating on the streets against the islamists and their allies and the jihadists? the youth, women, minorities. we didn't have a strategy to ally with them the last ten years. by now, we have anti-jihadist and anti-forces. >> part of the ideology, is it religious, one group against the world? >> it is perceived by the jihadists that they are the ones
qaeda. we often saw owe osama bin laden putting pressure on affiliates in different places to carry out attacks but the final word on something like this is going to come from the people on the ground, the people in yemen, people like wuahyshi for the reason we're seeing today. communication back and forth between yemen and pakistan is easily intercepted. >> warner: and that probably explains the intensified u.s. drone strikes in yemen over the past week. finally, how aggressively is the government of yemen and this new president going after a.q.a.p. both on its own and in concert with the u.s.? >> right. well the new government under president hadi who was just in the u.s. last week meeting with president obama, president hadi has given the u.s. a green light to carry out strikes in a variety of different places at the times of the u.s. choosing. he's doing this because he has a lack of domestic support within yemen. so he needs the u.s. to make up for that lack of domestic support. so there's an open communication which is much different now than it was from when the former president
is never going to retreat from the world. we don't get terrorized. because of you, osama bin laden is no more. [ cheers ] >> because of you, al qaeda's top ranks have been hammered. >> over overnight in yemen which is on high alert the u.s. conducted its sixth punishing drone strike in ten days. the yemeni government said six suspected al qaeda members were killed. 29 suspected al qaeda terrorists have been taken out by u.s. drones in the past ten days. new throats from al qaeda forced the evacuation of the u.s. embassy in yemen. among those outposts shut down through at least saturday by terror concerns. i wan
for osama bin laden. miss potress is still working on the third installment in that trilogy which is about u.s. surveillance of phone calls
. the second part tells the story of two men from yemen including one who was a driver for osama bin laden. miss potress is still working on the third installment in that trilogy which is about u.s. surveillance of phone calls and e-mails and so on since 9/11. she posted a bit of that one last year on "the new york times" website. >> build social networks for everybody. that turns into the graph then you index all that data to that graph which means you can pull out a community, that that gives you an outline of the life of everybody in the community. and if you carry it over time from 2001 up, you have that ten years worth of their life that you can lay out in a timeline that involves anybody in the country. even senators and house of representatives. all of them. the dangers here are that we fall into something like a totalitarian state like east germany. >> working with top-level sources like that former nsa employee, uncovering government secrets, shooting and producing her films all over the world, laura poitress, the documentarian, she has been busy. she's been doing traveling for he
of two men from yemen including one who was a driver for osama bin laden. miss poitras is still working on the third installment in that trilogy which is about u.s. surveillance of phone calls and e-mails and so on since 9/11. she posted a bit of that one last year on "the new york
in places even if osama bin laden is not. one other point in there that is not discussed is central africa and what is going on there. >> and malwi and nigeria. >> how does the president need to come out of this to gain credibility and not letting as the congressman said every death spot around the world to utilize destruction. >> that is the quandary he finds himself. this is a president who he first was in power put his faith in word. he thought he could talk the world down from the -- and to some degree, his hands were tied. america was going through an economic crisis. it was extended in two foreign wars. so words were the only real weapon he had at the time. he extended rhetorically an open hand to some of the dictators in the region. they responded with a closed fist. so now he finds himself in a position he has to act and ironically, he has put himself in that position to some degree with saying assad has to go and saying a red line if assad uses chemical weapons against his own people, there will be consequences. the president's own words now force him into action. it's hard to see
. the most famous of all in 1998 when they were launched at osama bin laden in afghanistan only to have three years later launch the 911 attacks against the u.s. >> you're right, indeed. thank you, mick. joining me in studio, congressman gregory meeks, a member of the house foreign affairs committee. representative meeks, i understand you were briefed last night in a conference call. tell me what you learned from that call. >> i learned, first of all, the president has not made a decision yet, which i think is a good thing. >> contingent upon what? do you know what it is will be the tipping point? >> i don't know what it is. i hope he looks at it in its totality. you know, i was with the president most of the time. but i said from the beginning what is beginning is what should be the united states doing something unilateral. what is concerning me is all the reporting i'm hearing now. it's not the international community, it's the united states. it's not nato, it is the united states. >> france said they will offer support. >> there's so many other countries. we don't know, for example, where
with singing songs to osama bin laden and the 9/11 terror attacks. there's been a radical change in a lot of the makeup of the armed opposition which just doesn't look like the peaceful protests that we saw 2 1/2 years ago starting, calling for democracy and freedom after 40 years of dictatorships fr from the assad leadership. >> where does that leave the assad regime right now. fred flepleitgen, a short time , ben wedeman was speaking to members in the regime who told him they were relieve bid this delay, that president obama has put the brakes on at least for ten days asking congress for a vote. the syrian regime, he says, relieved and perhaps even planning a new offensive to squeeze in there over the next several days. before you left, what did you see in terms of movement in the regime's assets and what have you heard over the last several days? >> the regime has been stepping up its effort, especially in the damascus area over the past couple of days. the interesting thing was it really coincided with that alleged chemical weapons attack. many people on the ground were talking to us
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